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Yohan Blake, a Jamaican Olympic sprinter who won gold medals in 2012 in London and in 2015 in Rio de Janeiro in the 4×100 relay, said over the weekend he’d rather miss this year’s Tokyo Games than take the coronavirus vaccine.
Blake may still be able to participate as the International Olympic Committee isn’t requiring athletes to get the vaccine but rather encouraging them to do so.
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“My mind still stays strong, I don’t want any vaccine, I’d rather miss the Olympics than take the vaccine, I am not taking it,” Blake told Jamaica’s The Gleaner.
“I don’t really want to get into it now, but I have my reasons,” he added.
Jamaica is reportedly set to get its first shipment of the vaccine this week. The island nation has reported more than 23,000 cases of coronavirus and 425 deaths since the start of the pandemic. The country has seen an increase in daily cases over the last few months.
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Blake also put out a video on Saturday.
“Follow your mind, don’t follow the crowd. At the same time, be respectful to each and every one. Don’t let no one take away your choice,” he said.
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The 31-year-old is likely to be a part of Jamaica’s sprint team once again. In 2019, he participated but didn’t medal in events at the World Championships in Qatar.
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